Every year, on November the 5th, people across the UK gather to celebrate bonfire night and mark the anniversary of Guy Fawkes’ failed gunpowder plot. Though many celebrations will pass without incident, others will experience serious or minor injury as a result of being around fireworks and bonfires.

The last time it was recorded, 990 injuries were noted to have been caused by fireworks in October and November. Of these, 479 people required hospital treatment for these injuries. Below are some helpful tips to avoid preventable accidents on bonfire night and at firework displays.

Ways to Prevent Injury on Bonfire Night

If you are lighting fireworks –

  • Make sure the firework is fixed firmly in the ground before you light it.
  • Make sure the area is clear before you light the firework.
  • Wear gloves (they will keep you warm on a cold November night and also protect your hands).
  • Use a taper to light the firework at arms length then take a number of steps away from it.
  • If nothing happens, do not go back to the firework once it has been lit; it may still go off.

If you are watching fireworks –

  • Stand well back from the firework display.
  • If you are susceptible to loud noises, wear ear defenders to muffle the noise.
  • If you suffer from heart problems, asthma or bronchitis, it is advised that you watch the display from indoors.

If you are handling sparklers –

  • Always wear gloves when handling sparklers.
  • Never give sparklers to children under the age of five and never carry a child while holding a sparkler.
  • Keep the sparkler at arms length at all times.
  • Once the sparkler has gone out, place the stick in a bucket of water (the end will remain hot for some time after the sparkler has gone out).

Pet Safety

  • Always try to keep your pets indoors on bonfire night.
  • Make sure you have enough supplies in to make your pet as cosy as possible for the night.
  • Close doors and curtains to mask the noises of the fireworks and perhaps put your TV volume a little louder to help.
  • Make sure your pet has been microchipped by the vet in case he/she runs away.

In The Event of Minor Injury

  • For minor burns, place the burnt area under cold water for at least ten minutes. You should feel the burning sensation cool down.
  • For slightly more serious burns, cut around any material that is sticking to the skin. Do not pull it off or pop any blisters as this will make the wound worse. You should also cover the affected area with a non fluffy material (ideally cling film).

Did You Know?

  • Sparklers can reach 2,000⁰C which is five times hotter than the temperature of cooking oil.
  • Throwing a firework is a criminal offence and can land you a £5,000 fine if you do it.
  • It is also illegal to sell fireworks to anyone under 18 years old.

Personal Injury Claims

Farleys have a number of experienced personal injury solicitors with experience of dealing with a wide variety of claims. Get in touch for free legal advice regarding your personal injury claim by calling 0845 287 0939.